Call for new board members

We want to inspire EPFL students to get out of their comfort zone and tackle real-world problems with real-world customers to deal with. We have access to a unique infrastructure permitting non-expert students to dive in to electronics, 3D printing, microbiology and much more! Since our recent acknowledgement as an...

Posted by Raffael on April 01, 2017.

Constellation Rover Now in Antarctica

Constellation safely arrived at the Dumont d’Urville station just a bit more than a week ago and we already have the first images. Data arrived before the images as it comes to us via the Iridium satellite network directly from Constellations on-board satellite transceiver. As the Iridium line and traffic... more...

Constellation on its way to Antarctica

We haven’t posted anything on our blog for a while, so it’s about time we give you some updates! On September 19th, 2016, we went to the University of Grenoble to deliver the finalized rover, “Constellation”. We gave a demo of its capabilities to the researchers who are going to... more...

Driving Tests on Snow!

The time has come and we could test the final rover that will be sent to Antarctica in less than one month on real snow and under similar conditions like on the upcoming mission. For this purpose, we made a beautiful excursion to the Tsanfleuron Glacier (the well-known Glacier 3000),... more...

Meet the Octanis Summer Team!

No less than 17 passionate and very eager contributors are composing the developer team for the Octanis Rover during this summer. Half of them were already members before, and in total seven students of all backgrounds have joined the project specifically for this very intense final programming, assembly and testing... more...

Antarctica Mission 2016/17 Kickoff

Last Friday, part of the Octanis team went to the «Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l’Environnement (LGGE)», the Glaciology and Geophysics Lab in Grenoble, France. Kindly received by Laurent Arnaud, a research engineer specialized in the characterization of snow, we handed over the batteries and other bulky material needed... more...

Easter Balloon Videos

Remember our first balloon mission in the end of last March? Here are finally the breathtaking images captured with our on-board camera. While the available storage space and battery time of the camera weren’t enough to film the landing in the tree, we could retrieve all recordings from the start... more...

Easter Balloon Launch

During this week of easter holidays the Octanis 1 team was happy to complete their first balloon mission successfully, after they launched a weather balloon carrying a replica of the rovers electronics to near space. The goal was to test the functioning of the rovers hardware in flight. This is... more...

First LoRaWAN Gateway In Lausanne Connects to the Internet Of Things

LoRaWAN (Long Range WAN) is a telecommunications network allowing small devices (i.e. sensors, robots, machines, meters) to communicate over long ranges at low bitrates. The simplest form of a LoRaWAN network consists of a tranceiver gateway connected to the internet and end-nodes typically on battery power. The gateway runs on... more...

Antarctica Mission

The past few weeks were packed with many challenges. An intense selection process for the Field Scientist position, preparation of the mission protocol and also continuous development to get the rover mission-ready. As you might already know, our supporting Antarctic Base INAE had previously reassured us that a logistical expedition... more...

Octanis 1: Field Scientist Challenges

Dozens of candidates have responded to our call for applications and we shortlisted 10 candidates. These candidates were tasked with a 48h challenge to design their own experiment to be executed in Antarctica. Although 48 hours is not a lot of time, candidates managed to create phenomenal work. We are... more...

Octanis 1: Presentation at MIT and EPFL

Last Friday, we had the incredible opportunity to present the Octanis 1 mission during the Systems Engineering lecture given by Prof. Olivier L. de Weck to MIT and EPFL students. The presentation included a brief introduction to the mission and how we iteratively get from prototype to prototype. As the... more...

Octanis 1: Call for Applications Closed

The official deadline for the call for applications for the role of “Field Scientist” is closing today. We have received many applications from all over the world and would like to thank all applicants. A jury will select 10 applicants based on their skills and experience. The selected applicants will... more...

Octanis 1: New Rover Prototype Ready for Tests on Morteratsch Glacier

We've been in our lab the past few months working on a new prototype of the rover. Finally today, we are on our way to the famous "Morteratsch" glacier in the Swiss Alps. We will conduct some driving tests and do first measurements of our solar panels. The following is... more...

Octanis 1: Insulation Test with Rock Wool

If you remember well, we were using PU foam in the insulation box that will keep the electronics of Octanis working at 100% Well, now we're trying a new material that is easier than the foam to shape, we are currently running a long test in both (the PU foam... more...

Octanis 1: Progress Update: Lessons learned after Umeå

As you might have seen, we've been working hard last month on our first driving prototype of Octanis 1. We went to Umeå, Sweden to test-drive it on snowy and icy plains. We worked hard for this first test and got a lot of information out of it. What we... more...

Octanis 1: New photos from Umeå, Sweden

Prototype Sprint @ Hackuarium [Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="2" gal_title="Prototype Sprint 26.1. - 3.2.15"] On the way to Sweden (by train) [Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="3" gal_title="On the way to Sweden"] Very first drive in wet snow, 6th February 2015 [Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="4" gal_title="Very first drive in wet snow, 6 Feb 15"] Field trip to Holmsund for... more...

Octanis 1: PU foam insulation. Preliminary results.

Octanis' body will be relatively large (30x30x15cm) but it's "brains" - the main computer and electronics - will be very small in comparison. This leaves a lot of empty space for insulating the electronics as much as possible. Having little energy to spare, heating is not something we can afford... more...

Octanis 1: Main PCB taking shape

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Octanis 1: First wheel strut prototype printed!

Motor integration visible at the top. It will additionally be filled with a PU foam layer. The infill is currently a "honeycomb" structure. Video of strut with wheel attached. more...

Octanis 1: Motors have arrived!

Testing can begin! more...

Octanis 1: A first 3D simulation

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Octanis 1: IceCube Neutrino Observatory

When you think about Antarctica, perhaps you're thinking of a boring frozen desert at the end of the world. Well you could not be more wrong. Antarctica is one of the most interesting places on the planet, its weather conditions, its geographic location, its particular atmosphere - those are just... more...

Octanis 1: Latest rover design

We've been busy these past weeks designing the initial rover body of Octanis 1. The team had especially many discussions on the design of the wheel. Since we have to traverse snow and ice, sometimes slushy and wet, we need high traction and a big surface area. That's what made... more...